Doing Business in Singapore: The perfect base for your Dutch hub

If you are an international entrepreneur thinking of expanding in Asia, then we suggest that you consider Singapore.  This cosmopolitan metropolis has successfully managed to reconcile traditional Asian characteristics with a modern Western appearance.  Thus, while Singapore still highly values the welfare of the community, it is, with the aid of digital progress, winning the centuries-old battle for new chances and a better life.  Furthermore, this modernization has ensured considerable improvements in working life.  Here, we set out the advantages for you of doing business in Singapore.

Languages in Singapore

Along with the local dialects, Malay and Tamil, the Singaporean population also speaks Mandarin and English.  Through this, the country can act as a gateway to both China and the West.  Above all, all government institutions, courts and schools, as well as the business world, use English as the main language.  Consequently, there is no question of a language barrier.

Business in Singapore

Love of country

It is not difficult to become enamoured with Singapore, with its beautiful nature and sophisticated facilities.  If you are in the presence of Singaporean clients, never forget to mention the beauty of their country.  Singaporeans are very patriotic.  Therefore, criticism will not be appreciated if you are asked for your opinion about their country, which often happens at the start of a meeting.  Watch out, however, that your praise doesn’t become too familiar.  Similarly, digressions about family matters, religion and/or politics are not appropriate.


One of the great advantages of Singapore is the extreme importance that its people attach to order and punctuality.  You will not be made to wait for a business associate.  You can also assume that the meeting will proceed pleasantly, as Singaporeans will never raise their voice or show that they are in bad humour when they do business.  This friendly atmosphere is confirmed with the exchanging of business gifts.  These gifts symbolize the hope for successful business contacts and an amicable relationship.  The line between being colleagues and friends is thus thin.  When a business meeting concludes, it is, for example, customary to eat together to strengthen the personal connection.  After that, you should continue your discussion for at least an hour.

Company hierarchy

In doing business in Singapore, one also sees the productive intertwining of traditional values and modern ideals coming to the fore.  Thus, the clear hierarchical structure is an unmistakeable testament to Asian culture.  The boss enjoys the most respect and authority.  Nevertheless, in this aspect, Singapore appears to be more progressive than many “modern” Western countries.  After all, there is no glass ceiling in Singapore.  Through this, women have no difficulty in assuming important roles in company life.


Government Subsidies

If the productive trade climate or the versatile culture and nature have still not been able to convince you to do business in Singapore, then maybe the government can change your mind. The local government, in particular, offers various subsidies and tax provisions to native and foreign companies that set up in Singapore.

If setting up a business in Singapore is only the beginning for your international adventurers, we advise you to consider incorporating a Dutch affiliate. The Dutch entity then operates as a gateway to Europe. Moreover, besides economic, cultural and practical advantages of the Netherlands, this offers you undeniable fiscal opportunities. Not only does the Dutch-Singaporean tax treaty grants you the opportunity to avoid double taxation, taxes in the Netherlands itself progressive as well.

Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us for more information about international business or doing business in Singapore and/or in the Netherlands.  We are only too glad to be of assistance.

Tax Plan 2018

tax plan 2018_Netherlands_Dutch taxes


On Queen’s Speech, ‘Prinsjesdag’ in Dutch, the new Dutch cabinet Rutte III pronounced its ambitious Tax Plan 2018. Over the last months, the Tax Plan instigated many discussions and far more confusion. The 19th of December, the final ruling of the First Chamber took place. Here, you may find an overview of the actual fiscal changes that will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

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VAT on Cross-Border Services and Deliveries

VAT cross-border services deliveries


Do you or your clients offer services to foreign customers? Does your company provide services abroad? Then VAT compliance can be quite a hurdle. On one hand, the services were delivered by a company settled in the Netherlands. The beneficiary of those services, on the other hand, is situated abroad. This makes filing taxes a confusing affair. Sigue leyendo

Expansion of the dividend withholding tax exemption and broadening dividend withholding tax base to include holding cooperatives.

dividend withholding tax obligation and exemption holding cooperatives

dividend withholding tax
Great News! 
The draft bill concerning the Dutch withholding tax contains several decrees that both tightens and broadens the Dutch dividend withholding tax exemption has been sent to parliament. It provides for relief from double taxation in genuine corporate structures.

This legislation makes the Netherlands more attractive for corporate structures.

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Private shareholding: keeping your shareholding confidential

bv private shareholder

private shareholding

Private shareholding: how can I keep my shareholding in a Dutch BV private?

In order to set-up a Dutch Limited Liability Company, you will need to full-fill “know your client procedures”, so the Dutch notary will know who the shareholder is. But sometimes you want to keep your shareholding confidential. In case the “know your client procedures” are full-filled, you can make your shareholding in a Dutch BV as private as you deem appropriate, whereby there are various degrees:

  1. Set up a Dutch BV with 2 shareholders to prevent being listed in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce; and/or,
  2. Have somebody else incorporate the BV on your behalf to prevent the inclusion in the deed of incorporation; and/or,
  3. Have somebody else manage the BV on your behalf to prevent the inclusion with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce as Director; and/or,
  4. Have somebody transfer the shares at a later date (option agreement) in order to not be a shareholder initially;
  5. Provide an abstract name for your BV and change it later on (not your own name, etc);
  6. Set up the BV via a third party provider so that its addresses does not have a connection to you;
  7. Use a STAK (foundation) to certify the shares;
  8. There is a UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owner) registry being set-up throughout Europe. If you set up a trust which incorporates a BV, you probably avoid the inclusion in the UBO register;

Do you want to know more about private shareholding? Please contact us so we can give you some more information about shareholding.